Thank you for the sensible return to school last week (attendance was high again - a combination of safety, luck, awareness and where we live etc). Things within school continue to run smoothly (with a few gentle reminders about hands in mouths, spatial awareness and use of the field but nothing major). We take each day and week as it comes whilst also trying to teach and learn.
School is a safe place but please do not take that for granted.
Children are acutely aware of what is happening around them and need good routine /sleep and exercise to flourish. You may also be feeling guilty about their loss of opportunities/clubs/seeing wider family etc but please see it as an opportunity for family time, family walks, playing board games together and enjoying time together.
1. Autumn reporting - '3 stars and a wish' - these will come out next week, after November 16th.
How it works this year = every Autumn and Spring we publish a very short report with regard to 3 excellent aspects of your child's learning and one target. We also comment on their general behaviour and learning behaviour. Normally you would receive these at a parent's evening but we will send them home in a sealed envelope with your child (as an eco school we will place a whole families in one envelope, your oldest child, along with their individual Seesaw details in case of isolating). We do not comment on data until the end of year report in July.
2. Teacher telephone calls (10 minutes per child) - these will start after you have received your child's '3 stars and a wish'
Once the '3 stars and a wish' have been sent home with your child you will receive a phone call from the class teacher to discuss the 'report' (normally it would be face to face but that is not possible in the current climate). Teachers will be doing this when they have the opportunity during a very busy day (they have breaks of about 5 minutes and 30 minutes for lunch if they are lucky !) so the calls may be in the afternoon or after school. They will attempt to call you 3 times (and leave a message) before it becomes your responsibility to contact us.
3. 'Catch up' and what it actually means !
When time is lost it cannot be replaced, it isn't logical ! For most children during the last lockdown they carried on working and progressing whilst others may have experienced some delays in their learning. That time has gone and there is no 'making up for it' as it is time passed. We now have to try to focus on progress from different starting points and teaching the children what they need whilst maintaining a balance of other important aspects such as PE, forest school, outdoor learning and every other subject.
In school and at home we also need to remember that we are in the middle of a global pandemic and everything changes and is not normal, this has an effect on everyone. Children are acutely aware of what is happening around them and we try to keep a level of normality and stability in school. We are all trying to make the best of very unusual circumstances.
4. 'Flow and go' - as people cannot see others in their homes/gardens and only mix with one other person outside we need to be acutely aware of that when dropping off and picking up. We understand that people need social interaction but outside of school is not the place and we need you to 'flow and go' at both ends of the school day.
REALLY IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND REQUESTS
a. PLEASE STAND ON THE WHITE DOTS AND ENSURE THAT YOU ARE 2 METRES FROM OTHERS AT ALL TIMES.
b. PARK SAFELY AND SENSIBLY (AWAY FROM JUNCTIONS, YELLOW ZIG ZAG LINES, DRIVEWAYS etc).
We have a couple of parents in Years 5 and 6 who have repeatedly, since September, dropped off on the yellow lines or in the road or parked in front of the pub (which is a vital passing place for traffic) and from this week we will be recording registration numbers to pass on to the Police. WE DO NOT OPERATE A DROP OFF - why not take 5 minutes to look around the village for a safe, sensible, community minded place to park.
3. If you are a blue badge holder and use the staff car park could we ask that you do not enter or leave the car park until the queues are clear.
Over the course of this week we will monitor the distancing, spacial awareness and behaviours of parents before deciding if we need to insist on masks when picking up and dropping off. Hopefully people will be helpful and be quick, helping us to keep things as simple, safe and normal as possible.
PE - we are still maintaining the levels of PE we have always had, approximately 2 hours per class (because we believe it is important). We also have additional time outside with forest school and outdoor learning opportunities.
Writing - you may have read in the media about a recent study that concluded that Year
7 pupils were up to 22 months behind in their writing (that is more than all of the lockdown period !). The actual task the children were asked to perform was to 'write about their dream job' but the company that carried it out set the task with no input (how many adults would complete that task to an acceptable standard and meeting all the criteria that we expect children to meet now ?). We know that many parents/carers struggled the most with writing during the period away from school as children are now expected to with a wider range of grammatical input (fronted adverbials etc).
How can we address any 'gaps' in writing ?
School will continue to teach the grammar, punctuation as well as opportunities for writing (with good input). We have highly skilled teachers who can do this.
Home = increase your opportunities for writing (lists, letters, cards, leaflets etc) with a mix of hand written and word processing. Why not get the children to write Christmas cards (we don't do school ones). Why not get the children to write to your wider family or friends (apparently a written letter or card is the most powerful from of communication !).
More to follow on Thursday. I hope everyone has a good week.